By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
In 2015, when then businessman Donald Trump announced his intent to run for President, he laced his speech with attacks against Mexican immigrants.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said.
He later said they are “killers,” too. “You have people come in and I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people that are from all over, that are killers and rapists and they’re coming to this country.”
Trump’s message to white Republican voters: These people are coming to take your jobs, rape your wives and speeding up the Browning of America.
Trump rode this wave of white political grievance and fear into the White House.
He magnified his rhetorical hardened policies against Hispanic immigration over the past two years.
Separating children from their parents and putting adults and children in filthy pens, are designed to deter immigrant people from coming to the USA.
Also, to project an image of the tough white guy with his boot on the necks of these Brown intruders.
Now he is focusing on Black people.
Trump shied away from attacking African-Americans for the most part in 2016.
Although his political base loathes and fears Blacks more than Mexicans.
Recently he attacked four freshmen congresswomen of color for their complaints against his immigration policies.
He labeled them unpatriotic haters of the country.
He called them socialists and told them to “go back where they come from” if the did not like America,
All four are U.S. citizens. Three were born in America; one is a naturalized citizen.
During his tenure, Trump has scored points with his base by questioning the intellect of Black lawmakers like Maxine Waters.
He has been seen demeaning and scolding Black female reporters hurling tough questions at him.
Congressman Elijah Cummings, Chair of the Oversight Committee investigating the Trump White House for corruption, has been a recent target.
With a twitter attack, Trump said, “… (Cummings) has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men and women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border
when his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA …
“…Cummings’ district is a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess. If he spent more time in
Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
Trump pointed out Cumming’s district as a Democratic stronghold, where billions of public dollars have been spent but inhabitants still drown in poverty.
Although most Black congressional districts have both poor and prosperous residents, Trump asserts all of them are impoverished.
Trump’s base hates the idea of providing government funding for poor and “undeserving” Blacks – although many of them are poor and benefit from billions in federal aid, too, which he failed to mention.
But worrisome about this message is that it may turn off key voters Democrats will need to oust him from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In 2016, there was a decrease in Black voters who voted than in 2012.
The 1990s Crime Bill which caused the jailing of many Black men working in the drug trade, and Democrats taking the Black vote for granted were factors.
Add also reliance on polls that showed Hillary Clinton would win big, prompting many Blacks to justify their absence from the polls.
Speaking before a vastly white crowd in Ohio during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump made a passionate pitch to African-American and Hispanic voters, whom he described as living in poverty in neighborhoods that are more dangerous than war zones.
“What do you have to lose?” Trump asked again and again.
Trump, a month after he won election, said that “Blacks were listening” and helped him win the election – by not voting.
Trump will continue highlighting to his supporters the alleged ineffective Black and Democratic political leaders who have failed to help their people.
With this idea and a claim that Democrats take the Black vote for granted, it can turn off African-American voters again and assure Trump another term.
The white and Black middle class left the urban cities to head to the suburbs, leaving behind poor Blacks to fend for themselves.
In my native Arkansas, and the nearby states of Tennessee and Kentucky, industrial jobs have been sent overseas.
In Kentucky, where Trump won by 20 points, poverty in many of mostly white and GOP-leaning districts is just as high as in urban and Democratic-led centers.
Thousands of poor whites in rural Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, for example, never had steady healthcare options until Obamacare was introduced in these districts.
Trump overlooks the historic economic sabotage and neglect caused by Republican businessmen and politicians generating many of the woes in Congressional districts like Cumming’s.
Further, his son-in-Law Jared Kushner is making money off of the rat-infested apartments in Cumming’s district.
Further, Trump told poor coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, he would save their jobs.
Republicans are always claiming that Democrats ignore market-driven trends of the business.
So do they.
The market knows its cheaper to poke a stick into the ground and extract clean natural gas.
Cheaper than salaries owed to work crews sent down into a mine to extract coal.
Yet, the die-hard Republicans who support Trump will stick together and vote for him no matter his hypocrisy, lies, and failure to keep promises.
Black voters, especially young ones, may not be so steadfast.
They know little of the history of Trump’s racist political rhetoric.
Nor have they taken time to make the connections between the decades’ long policies of his political allies and the impact on urban Black America.
But the need for a regime change in the White House should help them focus.
Trump has attacked civil rights and employment protections for women, Gays, and minorities, especially in the government workplace.
Except for reducing food assistance and killing fair housing policies, Trump has no urban policy.
He is creating barriers to voting.
He has weakened Obama-era efforts to help students pay back billions they owe in student loans.
He has tilted federal court so rightward, that civil and voting rights are vulnerable. Millions could lose their healthcare and his rollbacks of environmental protections are making water and air deadlier
Trump’s election was the worse political decision since the Civil War. He has divided this country akin to that four-year tragedy.
A lot of blood and treasure were expended to end slavery and reunite the country.
By voting in large number – November 2020, young and frustrated voters can exercise a less bloody exercise to end the mistake made in 2016.